Selecting The Right Liners

In order to select the best performing liner for your establishment and specific application you need to ask yourself three main questions:

  1. What size liner do you need?
  2. What type of trash will be collected in the liner?
  3. How heavy is the refuse that the liner will be holding?

Step One:  Pick the right sized liner

Selecting the correctly sized liner is very much a ‘Goldie Locks’ dilemma but fortunately while personal preference is prevalent there are mathematical measurements and stats can get you in the ballpark of that ‘just right’ perfect liner.  The goal of a correctly sized liner should be to have 3 inches of overhang.  That extra length to ensures that the outside of the liner will grip the container and provide enough tension so it doesn’t fall into the receptacle.   Any overhang beyond 3 inches is unnecessary to keeping the bag secure utilizes more plastic upping the price.  By selecting the correctly sized bag you can better control your usage (less bags failing) and reduce your cost per case.  CLICK HERE for list of trash can and the size of liners that go with them.

A typical example of High Density (HD) Liners

A typical example of High Density (HD) Liners

Step Two: Consider what type of trash will discarded in the can

The type of trash you will be collecting will ultimately determine what type of liner you choose; high density (HD) or low density (LD).  It is really quite simple. 

If there’s a chance your refuse will puncture the bag with sharp objects, you should opt for a low density bag.  Although high density bags are thinner, they are significantly stronger than low density bags (assuming they do not get punctured) making them a great choice not only for offices, where they are commonly used, but also for food waste or wet fabrics or any other objects that are quite heavy.  The danger of high density liners is that once punctured, they tend to zipper which means all your trash fell out and you need a new liner.

Low density bags are much more forgiving and withstand puncture better than high density bags making them a perfect option to hold any trash that would risk puncturing the bags commonly seen in general ‘all-purpose’ trash cans and with yard waste.

There is a third option, compostable bags made from corn polymers. These bag will break down in compostable environments but without that specific environment, they are no more environmentally friendly. Compostable liners should be used only with compostable refuse like food and compostable containers and cutlery. Unlike low density liners, this is a specific purpose liner.

A typical example of Low Density (LD) Liner

A typical example of Low Density (LD) Liner

Step Three:  What is the maximum load weight you will need the liner to support

Once you’ve determined the type of bag that’s best for your application, you’ll need to figure out how ‘strong’ you need the bag to be.  Conventional thought is that thickness directly corresponds with strength but like many things, that is not correct.  For many consumers the inclination is to err on the side of caution and purchase a thicker bag than what’s actually necessary.  A thicker bag will have a higher cost because more plastic is being used. 

The mundane nature of the liner industry does not seem to inspire much innovation at first glance.  A trash bag is a trash bag; end of story.  Fortunately, that has not stopped a few manufacturersfrom exploring ways to lessen the environmental impact of liners without sacrificing performance.  We’ve been impressed with some of the new product lines and are excited to soon be introducing our customers to the latest and greatest in the world of liners.  Stay tuned!